Well I managed to get into the last Beta weekend for SWTOR. This one appeared to be a stress test on the servers as there were only six own but with the extra Weekend testers we filled them many times over. 30 min to 3hr queues weren’t uncommon.
I took a different tack this time and leveled characters to L10 to try the other classes.
The Jedi Consular is a Force user like the Knight, with a focus on ranged and stunning attacks. To be honest while the storyline was good I kinda got sick of everyone gushing over how precocious I was by the end of the Prologue. It’d be a bit more rewarding if they didn’t think I’d just walk over everything. The class itself however has a lot of potential, with rocks being thrown at people, earthquake moves that knock everyone back. I didn’t much experience with the healing, though people have said you still do a decent amount of damage in fights while healing.
The Trooper like the Smuggler is a technology based class focussing on ranged weaponry, though able to use it up close still. They have some interesting combinations, such as my standard opener on multi-pack mobs. Sticky Bomb to the Chest, Explosive Round into the guy, then a Shot to the head to kill him, triggering the sticky bomb, blowing up his friends around him. That however goes out the window if I have the Mortar Volley off cooldown. That thing is OVERPOWERED. Any pack of normal mobs will be completely killed by its AOE damage + stun, and any Stronger mobs will be mostly dead, though they’re not affected by the stun and can run out of it at you. “Tanking” is a factor of using energy cells that generate extra threat on you intstead of energy cells that DoT the target. I believe you also get a an aggro fixate though I haven’t seen it yet.
Gear Choices and Stats
SWTOR appears to have gone with the same modern method of stat selection. Each class has Endurance (Stamina) and an attribute that they want to stack.
- Smuggler – Cunning improves tech based use including weapons and healing.
- Trooper – Aim improves weapon damage for ranged
- Jedi Knight – Strength improves melee and lightsaber damage
- Jedi Consular – Willpower improves force damage and healing.
Something that caught me out a few times, which I didn’t notice until the third character was that quests appearing on your main map was still proximity based. This means that if you don’t walk close enough to that part of the map, even if you’re in the building, the quest marker wont appear. This is the opposite of the markers when you do get the quest, which appear from the other side of the planet, but since you can’t drill down into another local area, I suppose its vague enough.
- Game Sound – When WoW first came out, it suffered from an annoying setup where game sounds would stop when you Alt-Tabbed. For those of us with multiple monitors, this became very irritating, because clicking on a web page while on a taxi meant that the sound cut out, and it was worse if you did it in an area likely to have attackers. Unfortunately TOR suffers from the same issue. WoW fixed it pretty quickly but you’d think that 7 years on, it’d be a standard feature of any new game.
- Keybindings – Something that I discovered after playing a number of characters too was that none of the keybindings that I set up for a given character would transfer over to other characters. As a left-hander, this can be somewhat irritating. I don’t use the holy quadrilogy of WASD, and usually use that half of the keyboard for 2nd-tier keybinds, with my main line keybindings on the numeric keypad. (And I’d love to find a keyboard that didn’t have NumLock there.)